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on our broadcast tonight, the showdown in denver. president obama and mitt romney tonight on the same stage for the first time. and our political team is on the ground. smoke alarm. after seeing tonight's report, you may be prompted to check and see which type smoke detector you have because our nbc news investigation has found many may not work fast enough when every second counts. plus, field of dreams. not a dry eye in the house as a young man with big dreams gets a second chance in the big leagues. "nightly news" begins now. from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with brian williams. good evening. before too long now, before the end of the evening, we will know how each man did, we will know
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if anything happens tonight that will fundamentally change the course of this race. we already know that all this debate expectations management you've been hearing is just that. these two men, president barack obama and governor mitt romney, have four ivy league degrees between them and 50 debates between them, though none together and none like this. the incumbent president and the challenger on stage tonight in denver. and to set the stage for that, our political team beginning with peter alexander who covers the romney campaign for nbc news. peter, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening to you. after all the hype and spin, this is where the debate will finally take place. let's give you a quick show around, if we can. they'll shake hands in the middle, mitt romney and president obama. the president will stand at the podium on the right, mitt romney at the podium on the left. this debate is separated into six 15-minute segments focusing heavily on the economy. touching down in denver this
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afternoon, president obama has prepared more for these debates than any sitting president in the modern era. while anticipation builds at the tightly controlled debate site mitt romney fine tuned his message in private, advisers say, relaxing with three of his sons and fueling up on a peanut butter and honey sandwich. campaigning today was left to top surrogates. >> i believe that the 21st century can be better than the 20th. >> you can do that. it's your future. go claim it. >> reporter: outside the debate hall cameras caught a brief glimpse of the candidates' motorcades. their walkthroughs inside the 1500-seat arena, kept out of view. >> two, three, four, five. >> reporter: for days advisers from both sides have been negotiating details from lighting to the angle of the podiums. the rules even address which spouse will be introduced first. mrs. romney, then mrs. obama. and a coin toss determined the president will speak first with romney getting the last word. >> i'd ask the wealthy to pay a little more. >> more americans are living in poverty. >> reporter: after a relentless blitz of campaign ads and months hammering home familiar
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themes -- >> this is a country where everybody should get a fair shot and everybody should do their fair share. >> we can't afford four more years like the last four years. >> reporter: advisors on both sides agree tonight's debate presents a critical opportunity to break through to the american voter. >> this is an opportunity really to reach the voters that haven't yet made up their mind in an unfiltered way. >> they want to hear plans forward. they want to know what the president will do over the course of the next four years. and how exactly we'll get there. >> reporter: with polls showing mr. obama leading in the crucial swing states, top aides have encouraged the president to be himself, don't change what's working, one senior adviser said. for his part romney's advisers say he's prepared, that he just needs to convey his message clearly on the biggest stage of his political career. and throughout the primary debates, brian, mitt romney would write his father's name, george romney, on the top of his notepad. his father, of course, being his inspiration. he would also write one other letter, "o" to remind him to focus on president obama.
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but tonight when they are finally side by side, he probably won't need any reminders. >> peter alexander in the hall, thanks for starting us off tonight. now over to our political director and chief white house correspondent chuck todd also at the venue tonight. chuck, what's the task for both sides, for both men? >> reporter: well, i can tell you that both campaigns view it this way. the candidate that spends more time litigating the other guy's plans will feel as if they're winning. the campaign that feels like they're spending more time defending their own plans will feel like they're losing. i can tell you this. one lesson that president obama and his campaign believe they've taken from president bush in 2004 is don't take this first debate lightly. that's why they prepared so much. and don't assume he's just going to sit back and, quote, sit on his lead. he's going to be a little more aggressive tonight than maybe people realize. as for mitt romney, don't be surprised if he tries to get libya in the conversation. yes, it's an economy debate, but if he doesn't, aides tell me he's got a big libya foreign policy speech that he'd like to do in the next couple of dies,
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brian. >> chuck todd part of our team there. brings us to this next item. andrea mitchell is another part of our political team in denver. she'll be fact checking the debate for us during our coverage later tonight. but, andrea, because of breaking news on two fronts, libya and syria, tonight we come to you in your capacity as chief foreign affairs correspondent. what do you know on both? >> reporter: well, the president was briefed on this latest incident. today syria, according to the u.s. and nato, attacked turkey, which is, of course, a nato ally and a strong u.s. ally across the border, with mortar fire killing reportedly five civilians in a residential area near the border. turkey then retaliated. tonight there was an emergency meeting in brussels. the nato ministers condemning syria for this attack. and also the president, the white house issued a statement from the national security council. hillary clinton spoke to the turkish foreign minister and said the u.s. will support turkey in this.
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all are condemning syria and holding syria to account. this as also more trouble for the administration with benghazi. the hill is now asking for answers. they want a hearing next week. hillary clinton said today that no one wants to know more than she and the president what happened in benghazi, but we've confirmed that the fbi has not been able to get on the ground because of continuing security concerns, and at this point, more documents, secret and sensitive documents like this one, are still at large in that site being secured only by libyans at the scene and not well indeed. >> and on top of that there were demonstrators in the streets of tehran today because the currency there has collapsed. but we remind everybody that tonight's debate is at least supposed to be about domestic and economic items. andrea mitchell, part of our team in denver. we'll talk to you later tonight. even given the clear and
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distinct choice between these two candidates this year, yes, there are still undecided voters who will be watching and listening for their own specifics in tonight's debate. and tonight tom brokaw reports on voters in the battleground state of colorado, of course, playing host for tonight's debate. >> reporter: in the presidential battle for colorado, the old western town of golden in jefferson county is one of the epicenters. it's a large middle class community just west of denver doing a little better than the rest of the state economically, and there are a lot of undecided voters here. >> hello, golden! >> reporter: between them, the two candidates have been in colorado more than two dozen times. >> i think the state is desperate for something to be accomplished. they are extremely worried about this economy. 60% of them are concerned about the direction of the country. >> reporter: you hear that on golden's main street filled with local merchants such as nancy taylor mason, registered
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independent, still undecided. not far away former ranch kid kelly condon jackson, an optometrist, bought this building for her office. amy rule, a lawyer, leans republican, but she's still not sure. john ellis is in big agriculture, the national western stock show. we gather them at the windy saddle, a homegrown coffee shop. nancy, the store owner, will be watching for specifics on the economy and social issues. >> what i'm seeing in small businesses is things are really beginning to come back but it's still really hard for people to get extended lines of credit, get funding to buy businesses. it's tough. and there isn't a candidate that represents all the things that i think are important. and that's probably not unusual, but it's much more apparent this year. >> reporter: amy struggles with social issues versus her family. >> i feel like i'm having to make a decision on the progress of my individual four-person family and moving them forward
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versus all of women's rights out there. and because i don't feel like we're making progress in my four-unit family, i'm leaning a little more towards the republican side. >> reporter: john likes obama's personal values, but he is worried about the direction of the country. >> how the president relates to people is very important, but i'm trying to be more issue conscious than i have in the past and less emotional. looking forward to the debate to see which of the two candidates can position themselves in my mind to do a better job for the country. >> reporter: for kelly, medicare and medicaid go right to her business. >> fiscally, absolutely, i'm more on the republican side. on the other hand, he's also attacking medicare, and that directly impacts me and my patients. and that worries me a bit. >> reporter: whoever wins, first day that they're in office, what's the most important thing that they can do? >> i'd like to hear that they're going to cross partisan lines and sit down and solve the
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problems. >> i really would like to see the cheerleader come out in whoever wins to instill the confidence because this country needs it. >> reporter: brian, no one knows for sure just how many undecided voters there are. the romney team believes that it's a higher percentage than what the pollsters are saying. so tonight in effect this will be a little bit like these two candidates will be trying to win the hearts and minds of those who are still undecided between now and the first tuesday in november. >> tom brokaw in colorado. we'll be talking to you along the way tonight as well. thanks. and our live coverage begins right here on this nbc station, 9:00 eastern, 6:00 pacific later tonight. after a vast manhunt along the arizona/mexico border, there's a reuters news agency report tonight that mexican authorities say they've arrested two people suspected of killing a u.s. border patrol agent in an attack that left another agent wounded. 30-year-old nicholas ivie lost his life not far from where
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agent brian terry was murdered back in december of 2010. that killing set off the fast and furious investigation. the feds say this was an ambush, plain and simple. and they've been searching on foot and vehicles, horseback and from the air, looking, they say, for as many as four suspects. there's a large and growing health scare in the news tonight involving a common procedure for people with severe back pain. the injection of steroids. dozens of patients are now finding out their shots may have been contaminated. a report from our chief science correspondent robert bazell. >> reporter: about a million people receive steroid shots in the spine for back pain every year. several hundred patients are now receiving phone calls like this one -- >> this is cindy checking on our patients that had epidural steroid injections. need to know if everything's okay. >> reporter: health officials are now investigating 26 cases of severe meningitis in five states including four deaths. officials are trying to track down hundreds of other people in
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23 states who got the injections and might be at risk. nbc news has learned health officials believe the outbreak originated at the new england compounding center near boston. the company is recalling hundreds of doses of a steroid compound it made for those lumbar injections believed to be contaminated with a fungus. >> one of the striking early features of this outbreak -- remember, we're still gathering data -- is that many of these patients are certainly middle-aged, they have back problems, but they're otherwise pretty healthy. >> reporter: a company like the new england compounding center typically mixes drugs to order for a doctor or hospital. the company did not respond today to requests for a comment. many health officials say that compounding facilities fall into a gray area of regulation, not strictly watched by the fda because they mix drugs and don't make them. officials say it will be a while until they know the full extent of the outbreak because the incubation period for the infection can be three weeks or
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more. robert bazell, nbc news, new york. still ahead for us here tonight, an nbc news investigation that is likely to cause a lot of homeowners to check what type of smoke detectors they have.
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we're back as promised with an nbc news investigation about smoke detectors that may surprise a lot of people including those of us who follow the rules about where to install them, how often to check the batteries. the problem is, as you're about
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to see, even when the deadliest fires erupt, they may not deliver the warning needed to save lives. tonight's report from our national investigative correspondent jeff rossen is an urgent matter that gets off to a very disturbing start. >> 911. >> i have a fire in my home. i've got a baby i've got to crawl with. >> reporter: a desperate mother waking up to a house full of smoke, trying to save her kids. >> my first thought is the four people that i have upstairs, trying to make sure they're not scared to death, that they're safe. >> reporter: the kids didn't make it. cause of death -- smoke inhalation. so why didn't they have more warning? after all, amanda deputy says, the house had working smoke detectors. >> then when it was time, they never went off. >> reporter: amanda says she had the most common type of smoke detector used in 90% of homes. inexpensive, easy to find alarms
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that rely on ionization technology. they work well to detect fires with fast flames, but experts say they may not save you in smoldering smoky fires that can strike while you sleep. don russell is a scientist at texas a&m. when i go to the store to buy a smoke detector, i assume that it's going to sound when there's smoke. >> that's a reasonable assumption, but it's wrong. >> reporter: we had him set up a test, placing three ionization detectors, the kind that most of us have, in a room, then setting a couch on fire. toxic smoke is building, but it takes 36 minutes for the first detector to go off. but there's another technology out there that gives you better warning in these fires. it's called a photoelectric detector. so dr. russell set up another test, this time with a photoelectric next to those three ionization detectors.
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17 minutes in, with barely any smoke in the room, the photoelectric sounds the alarm. the ionizations? they're still silent for another 21 minutes. even with smoke everywhere. >> if i would have relied on ionization, then my family probably wouldn't make it out. but with the photoelectric they'd have plenty of time to get out. >> reporter: the leading smoke detector companies do make photoelectric alarms but still sell most of their products without it. >> i think it's probably a business decision. >> reporter: the ionization detectors cost less money to make than the photoelectric? >> that is a correct statement. >> reporter: the companies told us all their detectors provide adequate escape time and meet safety standards, but critics say the government should force higher standards. so we went to the agency overseeing the companies. why not mandate photoelectric? >> because both technologies are working in saving lives. >> reporter: we know of several cases where the smoke alarm, people say, just did not go off. >> in those cases, they need to practice a fire escape plan to
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make sure they can get out. >> reporter: but if the smoke detector didn't go off and the house is full of smoke by the time it does, what does an escape plan do? >> it helps them escape better when the smoke alarm eventually goes off. >> reporter: but eventually isn't good enough for the mom who lost nearly everything. >> i would like to think that if i had known, i might have a family of seven instead of a family of three. >> reporter: just to be clear, no one is saying throw out your smoke alarm tonight. fire officials say the best advice is to have both technologies in your home. you can buy a dual detector that has both in one. thing is, they're harder to find in the stores and will cost you a little more money, too. >> jeff rossen, thank you for your reporting on this. up next an update on a controversial story we reported here last night.
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♪ take a letter maria ♪ address it to my wife
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>> "take a letter, maria, address it to my wife." r.b. greaves has died. he brought us that song back in 1969. the r&b star was the nephew of sam cooke. his other hit was "always something there to remind me." r.b. greaves dead in los angeles at the age of 68. we first reported the story here last night of the local television anchorwoman in lacrosse, wisconsin, who received a viewer e-mail about her weight and then decided to take on the topic and the viewer head-on on the air. she then appeared this morning on "today." now jennifer livingston is receiving interview requests from around the world. her tv station has at least six extra people there answering the deluge of incoming phone calls, most of them expressing support for her. up next here tonight, that real life field of dreams for a young man who waited a long time for one moment.
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finally tonight, let's not kid ourselves, even us baseball fans have to admit the sport is too often more about steroids and salaries than it is any kind of field of dreams. but sometimes the american pastime can still seem like a field of dreams like it did last night in miami.
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the story tonight from nbc's mark potter. >> greenberg is on deck and ready for his one at-bat. >> reporter: to the roar of the stadium crowd, the dream of a lifetime was about to come true, and the miami fans are suddenly on fire. ♪ for adam greenberg, it has taken seven long years to find this moment. >> adam greenberg in the box. and here we go. >> reporter: the road here began in 2005 when greenberg was a rookie with the chicago cubs and his career collapsed on his first time at bat. >> oh, my goodness. let's hope he's okay. >> reporter: greenberg was not okay. he had suffered a disabling head injury. for years he tried to battle back. his story caught the attention of matt liston, a passionate fan, who began a campaign to give greenberg another chance. this week the miami marlins signed him to a one-day contract
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with one time at bat. >> so this is just -- this is just great. >> reporter: now at age 31, his moment is here. greenberg's family is overcome as he faces one of the toughest pitchers in the major leagues. >> first pitch, strike one. and greenberg takes a swing and a miss. 0-2 pitch. swing and a miss. he strikes out. but you know what? he made it back. he got his moment back. and the crowd comes to its feet again. >> reporter: and that strikeout, a hard fought success. >> i was ready to play major league baseball again, and i got that chance. >> reporter: he also gets his face on a topps baseball card and will now seek a full time slot on a major league team. mark potter, nbc news, miami. that's our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. we'll look for you back here tomorrow night. i'm brian williams. and a reminder, we're back on the air tonight with our live coverage of the presidential debate, 9:00 eastern, 6:00 pacific. we'll look for you then. good night from new york.
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NBC Nightly News
NBC October 3, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 6, Greenberg 6, Obama 5, Colorado 4, Libya 3, Miami 3, Nato 3, U.s. 3, New York 3, Jeff Rossen 2, Denver 2, Robert Bazell 2, Clinton 2, Tom Brokaw 2, England 2, Peter Alexander 2, Nbc News 2, Mitt Romney 2, Nbc 2, R.b. Greaves 2
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Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
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Audio Cocec ac3
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